Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 4, 1932
Date Finished: August 13, 1932
Format: Round-robin tournament.
There were only five teams in the tournament, because of the lengthy travel to Los Angeles, but it included the two strongest teams in the world, Hungary and Germany. Germany was the defending Olympic Champion, while Hungary was second in 1928. But Hungary had been European Champion in 1926, 1927, and 1931, and was favored in LA. The gold medal came down to the match between the two favorites, with Hungary winning the match, 6-2, and going undefeated in the round-robin to win gold. Germany and the United States tied with 2 wins, 1 tie, and 1 loss, but Germany was awarded the silver on goal differential. From 1932-64, Hungary would win water polo gold in five of seven Olympic Games.
Brazil lost its first two matches, the second 7-3 against Germany. After the match the players attacked the Hungarian referee, Béla Komjadi, which had to be broken up by the police. Brazil was suspended and forfeited their final two games.
United States’ player Phil Daubenspeck scored 14 goals during the tournament, which stood as an Olympic water polo record for one Games until 1968, when the Netherlands’ Nico van der Voet scored 33 goals in Mexico City.